Essential Questions for Dental Care
by Contributing Writer
Within every beautiful smile live healthy teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene however has more than just cosmetic value. Many health care professionals believe there is a connection between good oral health and overall physical health--at least, in the American Dental Association's view. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires consistent dental care at home and regular checkups with a dentist.
Daily Care of Teeth and Gums
Brush your teeth twice each day and floss between your teeth once each day. Use fluoride toothpaste. Brush gently so as not to irritate your gums. Brush your tongue to help avoid bad breath. A healthy diet also plays a part in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Sugary foods or drinks in particular can contribute to tooth decay.
Signs and Symptoms of Dental Problems
You should visit a dentist if you have a toothache or pain, extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, a loose tooth if you are an adult, swollen or bleeding gums or changes in your bite. Catching a dental problem early in its development can make it easier to treat.
How To Choose A Dentist
Ask friends, family members or your physician to recommend a dentist. On your first visit, determine whether the office is clean and well run. Make sure the dentist is someone who will take the time to answer your questions and explain treatment recommendations. Ask about fee schedules and payment policies.
How Often to Visit a Dentist
Your dentist will recommend a schedule for regular check-ups. Most recommend an office visit and cleaning once or twice a year, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have certain medical conditions, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
Ways to Make a Dentist Visit Easier
Advances in anesthesia, along with more patient-centered attitudes, help to make visits to the dentist less nerve-wracking today. Many dentists give patients the option of listening to music through headsets during their visit. The music help you relax, and it helps to drown out the sound of the drill. If you fear your dental visit, tell your dentist about your concerns and discuss available options.